For nearly four months this site had been down. I got hit hard by a website virus called “Timthumb”. From what I understand, the virus gets in through a security flaw in a function that allows WordPress users to grab a photo from the outside world (other website) and post it onto their blog. That was the “in” for these hackers.
The virus would just scour the web using “bots” looking for the timthumb security flaw in websites. After a few weeks Google, in conjunction with major web browsers, blocked my site from anyone in the world accessing it. They did this as a precautionary measure to keep the virus from spreading. Unfortunately all of my SEO and page ranking were blocked and removed too.
The darn thing about it is that visitors who (more…)
(continued) Today’s post is by my good friend, author & international speaker David Rendall of The Freak Factory. David appeared on my radio show on January 13th. Listen to interview with David. Today’s “Freaking Out” post is a continuation of yesterday’s post – January 26. read part 1
Myth #3: You need to stop procrastinating
When I ask my students to list their weaknesses, the most popular is procrastination. (more…)
Today’s post is by my good friend, author & international speaker David Rendall of The Freak Factory. David appeared on my radio show on January 13th. Listen to interview with David. “Freaking Out” will be continued tomorrow.
“Most career advice is misguided and, in fact, makes us worse rather than better. We think we have to be well rounded, to fit in, to stop procrastinating, to get more self-control, and to fix our weaknesses. But the surprising truth is that pursuing each of those well-accepted pieces of conventional wisdom will (more…)
Today I went to the doctor about a dull foot pain I’d had for a few months. When I arrived, I was called after a few minutes then followed the nurse back to the doctor’s office. The nurse went through my records.
“Hmmm?” She said, “There isn’t much here. Do you not go to the doctor often?”
I said, “No, not often. I think the last time I was in was a few years ago. I guess I’ve been blessed with good health.”
The truth is that I usually avoid the doctor’s office. Don’t get me wrong, doctors do very important work and save many lives and make a lot of people’s lives better, however the experiences I’ve had with the few times I’ve gone in were nothing short of, “You just have to let the flu run its course” or like today, “Unless you have a more-severe pain, there is really nothing I can do for you.” (more…)
So what is living life on your own terms mean anyway? For me it means doing what you want, when you want and with whom you want. What does that cost? It doesn’t have to be millions a year. It could be $100,000 or even $50,000 in the right situation; no housing cost, low recurring service fees (cable, internet, cell phone, subscriptions), no car payment, no debt. Especially if you are single or a couple without children this should be super easy!
So you’ve lowered expenses, paid off all of your debt, you’ve build a side income through producing something or investing in something that gives you positive income that you can live on every month. What now? (more…)
Live Life on Your Own Terms (continued from Dec. 31st 2010) Do you want to design remote-control model airplanes, take photos of national parks with an antique large-format camera, homeschool your son or daughter, be a nature guide in the Everglades, teach English in Beijing? What is stopping you?
Hint: It isn’t your boss, your husband or wife, your parents, your credit card company, your past or even your present.
The truth is: (more…)
How do you get the edge over the other job applicants? Do what the other 99% of job applicants have never thought of. Do your research. The average person looking for a job knows little to nothing about the company. Fortunately, you are not average.
Think about what you’ll need to research. What skills are going to be the most valuable to your employer and how do you attain the skills you do not yet have?
Do you know who the president of the company is? Who were the founders, what their declared mission is and where are they going in the future? Does their mission statement even align with your life direction or beliefs for that matter? By doing your homework you will separate yourself from the crowd.
But, some of your competition will have done the same research and planning as you have. They may even have more experience than you; and may possibly be better looking that you (hard to believe I know). So what can you do? The one thing that you haven’t done is what my friend Charlie Hoehn has done so successfully.
Charley’s wisdom far surpasses his 24 years. He recently wrote a book that I highly recommend reading titled, “Recession-Proof Graduate – Charlie Hoehn’s Guide to Getting Any Job Within A Year of Finishing College.” Charlie has graciously made it available for you to download for free at www.recessionproofgraduate.com. I highly suggest that you take the next 20 minutes and read his Recession-Proof Graduate today. His insight into how to recession-proof your career can give you enormous power to shape the lifestyle you desire.
In his book, Charlie shows readers how to start working for an organization, entrepreneur or industry expert without going through the interview process like everyone else. Readers quickly learn how to start working near the top of an organization within days of reading and applying the tactics.
The other option that average people take is for you to go through interview after interview that may land you at a dull (and possibly unfulfilling) desk job. Better yet you can have your BA degree and start in the preverbal mail-room. Follow what Charlie says. If you are thinking of going back to school, FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE READ HIS BOOK!
(continued from 12/8/2010)
- Work out a brilliant outline.
- Write a sample chapter or blog your book out.
- Ghost writer or not? If you are not a part of the publishing industry or the “expert space” you may not believe how many experts don’t actually write their books. Ever wonder how a speaker or a pastor with a massive radio audience can writer three to five books, workbooks and study guides in a single year? They can’t, they just have a great team of writers and editors who organize the thoughts of a personality and send them on to the marketing team.Some of their books are the expert’s outline on a topic (that they have developed with their research team) and the expert’s style or voice from past writings or a sample chapter and a writer or two and editors who bring it all together.Realize that each book is a separate business. If you as a writer have a platform, you will have people who are eager to take a gamble on writing a book that will become a financially successful business.Ghostwriting can be great if you find a good fit (through word of mouth), but it can be expensive!I have heard a local ghostwriter who starts at $15,000 on the low end and another gentleman who teaches persuasion and public speaking paid $75,000 for his book to be written. For the latter, the expert wrote out his outline and one chapter in his writing style; the ghostwriter did the rest of the writing.If you don’t have the money for a good ghostwriter, another avenue is to hire a content editor who will go through your material and help you organize your ideas. In that case, find someone who had edited the content of another successful book in the same industry as what you are writing on. I relied on many friends to do the content editing for me and I think as a group, they did a fantastic job. For my next book, I will not be bothering my friends again, I will be hiring a content editor.
- Work on your platform today. When I approached literary agents, the first or second question they asked me was, “what is your platform?” What they meant is, If I am going to work for you for free until I get you a deal, I want to know if I will ever see money from your book; I want to know your public speaking background, mailing list size, previous book sales, radio or television experience, write-ups in blogs, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc. They want to know your brand value. If you are a fresh, unknown writer with no background in the industry or expert space you are going to write for, few agents or publishers will be willing to take a risk on you.If you want to be the next relationship expert and you have no following and no online presence and you have been married seven times, you may have a problem convincing agents and publishers that you will be successful.Start with a blog. Collect email addresses of people who want more of what you do. Get a Facebook profile and a fan page. Start commenting on blogs that write on or around your topic. Start to get known for someone who knows about your topic.
- Know that becoming a successful author is at least half due to your own marketing effort. Few new authors have a marketing and sales force behind them promoting their book for them. An author has to be ready to blog, do radio interviews, television interviews, book tours, travel to speak and sign books at a book store (if you’re lucky), build and maintain a website, create videos and training programs.Depending on your book deal, you may make anywhere from $.60 to a couple dollars a book that retails for $20 when it is sold through a retailer. A better bet is selling your book on your own through your website and appearances. Taking this task on may mean that you or a family member may be shipping books from the post office though. There are on-demand services that will take orders and ship them for you, but that will also take a cut in profits. You can go the eBook rout and do well too.Any way you go through some sort of distribution hub, be it Amazon or bn.com or brick and mortar store, you will be getting a drastic cut in profit since they are providing the traffic to your book.
Short answer here is: Work like your book income is up to you and your efforts.
- Write out a brilliant outline
- Write a sample chapter or blog your book out and get feedback from your target readers
- Work on growing your platform now
- Take charge of your marketing and learn how to sell and market
If you write a book that your target reader desires and you grow your platform based on their feedback, then you connect with those readers under your brand, you will be able to leverage your traffic through your own group and their personal networks and rely less on bookstore distribution hubs.
If you buy your book in quantity, you can change your net profit per book sale from $.90 to $10-$12. You may have a far smaller reach on your own, but you can sell your book to far less people and still make the same amount or even more money to live on.
Understand that you have to market what you write, otherwise you will not make any money off of the hundreds of hours you spent on your book.
Over the course of the last 10 months I wrote a book titled, Don’t Own Don’t Rent Live Well – How to be DEBT FREE, Build Your Nest Egg & Live Life on Your Own Terms. About seven and a half of those months were writing – the rest was the editing, rewriting, cover art, front matter, marketing pieces, etc.
Today, the accumulation of the efforts of researching, writing, editing… and editing… and editing the book finally came to a conclusion of sorts. I arrived home this evening and found a package sitting on my doorstep. It was from the publisher. I brought it inside and recorded this quick video.
It was very exciting to see bound on paper what just a few weeks ago were mere thoughts floating around in my mind. I was relieved to see that it looked great. Though there is a relief of weight for an author when he sees his book in finished form in his hands, there is also another weight that is added. The second thought that came in my mind was, “My words are out there; I can’t pull them down like a poorly-written blog post.”
This evening I started reading the book and it’s actually pretty good. I hadn’t written anything in it for about a month now and it
was nice reading it again as if for the first time. Overall, I enjoyed writing the book. I did write every word of it myself, something I may not do in my next book.
The toughest part writing the book was not figuring out what to say, rather it was writing every day knowing I wasn’t getting paid to write it other than whatever effort I take marketing it after it is printed and in stores a year after starting. So, when friends ask you for a free book, they usually don’t realize that you may have taken a better part of a year or more – literally risking hundreds and hundreds of hours on a dream to have a book published. I’m fortunate enough to no longer say, “I’d like to write a book someday” – Today; I actually held it in my hand.
With hundreds of thousands of books released every year, there is no guarantee that a book will bring the author much in the form of an income. A writer has to not just write a good book, they have to be a great marketer as well. Holding the book in your hand is not the end of the process, it is the mere beginning of the marketing of the book.
Out of this process I have gained an insight into the publishing world as well as the life of a writer and the process that makes a book a reality. Here are five things I have learned that I wish I knew about writing a non-fiction book and how I would recommend people take into consideration before taking on the task of becoming a published non-fiction author.
- Work out a brilliant outline. Since I am dyslexic, I work out of order in just about everything I do. It is not out of laziness exactly, I do things differently in search of the best way to do things. So I started my book in the middle and filled in the gaps and worked forward and backward. I do the same thing with songwriting- starting with the hook and build a song around it.Take the time to outline the entire book to the best of your ability. Interview people who speak or write in the field you are writing in to see what they think. This step will probably save you a lot of time and may give you better insight into what the industry is lacking. Also, run your ideas past the demographic of people you want to write for. Do they understand or even care about your ideas? Know their hang-ups before you start and you will negate frustration months down the road.
- Write a sample chapter or blog your book out. Get feedback on style and substance. Are you making a connection with your prospective reader? A blog format will be a great avenue for you to get feedback on every individual idea you will later collect into your book. There are even services that will take your edited blog and print it later on.(continued tomorrow)
My project this Sunday is setting up my son’s first business. We’re using the sweet corn model that I wrote about in a recent story for David Rendall’s Freak Factory Blog. I’m having my son assemble three pieces together which will make solid tripod mounts for an iPhone 4G and/or the new iTouch for when it is used as a still or video camera. it’s my little invention that I use daily, but my son likes how it functions and it is easy enough for him to make and use.
He’s only going to assemble a few to demonstrate on video. The sweetcorn model is this; start a business with no risk. In this case AJ is using his own money, but all (more…)